Tea tree oil originates from Australia and was used a great deal during WW2 for its natural healing properties. An anti-septic that has excellent penetrative qualities (i.e. this oil can be used around a piercing and it can naturally distribute itself deeper into the wound) this is the aftercare product of choice for many because of its natural properties that won’t aggravate the piercing area. Many make the mistake of using harsher products on their new body modification thinking that it will remove the bacteria and, whilst this is true, alcohol and peroxide will also kill the body’s natural bacteria in healing piercings, extending the healing time considerably as well as drying out/ damaging the skin around the area.
Not only is tea tree oil great for piercing aftercare but it also has impressive properties with hypertrophic scarring. If you have a healed piercing that exhibits scarring then tea tree oil can be very helpful for reducing and easing the skin around the piercing. It has also been reported that tea tree oil is helpful for bumps that appear around the piercing, both during the immediate aftercare and once the piercing has healed.
As an anti-septic, tea tree oil should always be diluted as full strength may irritate your skin and can in some rare cases lead to dermatitis. Dilute with distilled water for skin piercings and if you want to use it to gargle for tongue/ lip piercings then only one drop should be required for the average glass of water. If too much is ingested, tea tree oil can cause dizziness, nausea and disorientation as this is a mildly toxic substance. This is very much a case of listening to your body and using what works for you, always returning to your piercer if you experience any unusual reactions after using tea tree oil.
If you feel uncertain about using tee tree oil, don’t forget that many find salt soaks and saline solution just as helpful.
Tee Tree Oil
Positives: Works well on healing piercings as well as bumps and scarring for healed piercings, natural anti-sceptic, can distribute itself deep into the piercing
Negatives: Is a mildly toxic substance that should always be diluted depending on which piercing you’re cleansing, can cause allergic reactions (though very rarely), symptoms if too much is ingested include dizziness, nausea and disorientation.
Tea Tree Oil is not to be used as standard for healing piercings (unlike saline solution, which should be used twice a day as standard piercing aftercare), tea tree oil is nonetheless a fantastic remedy for reactive piercings.
If you are experiencing difficult symptoms with a healing piercing then you should return to your piercer and get advice regarding further aftercare. They may offer you tea tree oil for the impressive healing properties that is has regarding body modification.